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Very strong nonlinear internal waves discovered on Washington coast

posted Mar 21, 2012, 4:47 PM by WaveChasers APL
The Cha Ba/NEMO mooring allowed the first-ever characterization of the high-frequency internal wave field off our coast.  Though many past studies have examined the low-frequency flows, the internal wave field has been largely unstudied.  The forest two summers of data show a very active field of nonlinear internal waves.  In the course of minutes, these waves rapidly drop the thermocline as much as 38 m - remarkable given the water depth is only 100 m.  In fact, as a ratio of water depth, these waves appear to be the strongest observed anywhere in the world oceans, even the South China Sea.  See a description and a preprint of our submission to The Oceanography Society (TOS) internal wave volume here.